Saturday, September 1, 2018 don't know jack (fruit)!


If you're like me you love yourself a good pulled bbq sandwich. If you're also like me the summer heat can be oppressive and you don't care to stand over the stove or que tending to a good piece of brisket or roasting a chicken (I don't eat the "other" popular pulled meat). So my electric pressure cooker is my bestie in the summer when it comes to cooking tender meat, healthy soups and a host of other dishes without heating up my kitchen.

Recently I came across canned jack fruit in a local store. I've been wanting to try this fruit which is often used in recipes as a vegan meat substitute. It most definitely has the fibrous, yet tender texture of meat. And, like tofu it has a neutral flavor that will soak up any sauce with which it's cooked. The price tag also is a bonus, as it was about a third of the price of using meat in this dish.  A number of different recipes online called for cooking methods and sauces that were quite long. As I mentioned I want to get in and out of the kitchen in the summer. So I subbed a favorite bottled BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Ray's) and a quicker cooking method (the electric pressure cooker). I did need to finish it in the oven to achieve that pulled meat texture, but only for 15 minutes.

Served on a gluten free Udi's baguette with a cool and crunchy slaw topping (I used bagged broccoli slaw with a quick vinaigrette) and I had a roadside favorite without the fuss, muss and heat making it would usually incur. Oh, and did I mention it was delicious?

Pulled-BBQ Jack Fruit Sandwiches
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove crushed
2-20 ounce cans Jack Fruit, drained
1/2-1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1-18 ounce bottle favorite gluten free barbecue sauce
1/4 cup water

Heat an electric pressure cooker with the lid off (I usually put it on the "chicken/beef" setting to saute) and heat the oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Saute until onions become translucent (about 5-6 minutes). Add the garlic and saute an additional minute.

Add the jack fruit, hot sauce, salt and pepper, barbecue sauce and water. Stir until well combined. 

Turn off pot and attach lid according to manufacturer directions.  Set pressure pot to cook for 20 minutes on the "chicken/beef" setting. When done release pressure valve.

Pre-heat oven to 400F degrees. Spread cooked jack fruit mixture on a large non-stick baking sheet. With two forks flake apart Jack Fruit until it looks like pulled brisket.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Serving suggestion: Spoon jack fruit onto crusty rolls or a baguette. Top with slaw of your choice and serve warm. 

Yield: 6 servings

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